Razer Phone 2 review: Still the best gaming phone

The Razer Telephone 2 is a gaming powerhouse. Beneath the hood it’s working the most recent , includes a large battery, and provides a viewing/listening enjoy this is unequalled—on most sensible of a near-stock model of Android. However in Razer’s efforts so as to add flagship options like wi-fi charging and RGB, it looks like the corporate misplaced a few of what made the primary gaming telephone’s design so distinctive—and this sort of excellent have compatibility inside the Razer ecosystem.

Razer Phone 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Razer Telephone 2 and the Razer Blade

Upgraded and redesigned internals

Ahead of we get too deep let’s assessment the specifications and discuss day by day utilization:

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.8GHz)
  • Device reminiscence: 8GB (LPDDR4X)
  • Garage: Interior 64GB V4 UFS / Exterior SIM + micro SD slot (as much as 2TB)
  • Show: five.72-inch IGZO LCD 1440×2560
    • 120Hz, Extensive Colour Gamut
    • UltraMotion Era
    • Corning Gorilla Glass five
    • 645 nits (typ.) 470 nits (min.)
  • Energy: 4000 mAh Li-Po battery
    • Qualcomm QuickCharge four.zero+
    • Wi-fi Qi inductive speedy charging
  • Measurement: 158.five x 78.99 x eight.five mm

When it introduced remaining yr, the Razer Telephone was once the primary ‘gaming telephone’ with spectacular options like a 120Hz display screen, loud-ass entrance firing audio system, and customized cooling. This yr’s telephone refines all the ones options—superb bearing in mind Razer remains to be very new to the telephone industry—and assists in keeping the fee locked at $800.

Razer Phone 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The Razer Telephone 2 gives upgrades in virtually each division over the former model.

The display screen has advanced, providing a greater viewing enjoy in brighter and darker environments. It nonetheless doesn’t get fairly as shiny as its AMOLED competitors, however it’s an ideal growth over remaining yr’s style. Having 120Hz to be had on a telephone nonetheless feels excellent and is a large bonus out and in of video games. In an international the place such a lot of smartphones function curved displays and rounded corners with 18:nine presentations and notches, I completely love Razer’s determination to the tried-and-true enjoy at the Razer Telephone. It’s not that i am partial to curved presentations and rounded corners particularly, so the absence of them makes me a contented camper.

Even if the dimensions of the battery stays the similar, there’s a really extensive hit to how lengthy it lasts at the new telephone because of a key function: RGB. For the primary few days of the use of the Razer Telephone 2, I saved the RGB emblem on all the time with a static inexperienced colour (branding!). I noticed up to a 30-percent further hit to the battery via the top of the day. I used to be down in unmarried digits proper prior to mattress, and that’s a bummer for me. I love large telephones that experience large batteries so I will tax all of it day and not have to fret about dropping steam. Having the RGB on 24/7 increased my battery anxiousness, so fortunately it’s a function I will fine-tune to my wishes.

Razer Phone 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

In each gaming and day by day use the Razer Telephone 2 is a clean enjoy.

Razer has additionally persevered to stay a blank model of Android, modifiying upon inventory most effective in good tactics. Its recreation tool organizer, Cortex, has been delicate, so it’s more uncomplicated than ever to fine-tune efficiency consistent with recreation. Razer’s Chroma app has shrunken and is a amusing and easy strategy to keep watch over lighting fixtures. The Theme Retailer continues to get new and distinctive topics from each Razer and its customers. All in all the use of the telephone remains to be an ideal enjoy, and enthusiasts of inventory Android will really feel proper at house. As of presently, on the other hand, it’s caught on eight.1 Oreo and the October safety patch, so it’d higher get up to date quickly.

Whilst the digital camera within the Razer Telephone 2 has additionally been upgraded, it’s nonetheless very fundamental in its capability and effects. This yr Razer went with Sony symbol sensors (the industry-standard supplier), changing the Samsung ones from remaining yr. Upload the enhancements to the Snapdragon 845’s symbol sign processor, optical symbol stabilization at the major lens, and a brand new digital camera app, and you’ve got a probably profitable method. Sadly the captured pictures nonetheless lack the high-level processing that we discover in different flagship telephones. Such a lot of what makes a smartphone digital camera excellent is processing—Razer has an extended strategy to catch up on this space.

Razer Phone 2 camera Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
Razer Phone 2 camera Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
Razer Phone 2 camera Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Glass again woes

In the beginning look the Razer Telephone 2 carefully resembles remaining yr’s telephone, however one primary design exchange disillusioned me: the glass again. Razer added this to allow wi-fi charging and the oh-so-nifty RGB emblem at the again. Whilst I do revel in me some RGB, I believe this design exchange was once a mistake for 2 causes.

Razer Phone 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the glass back clean enough for this photo…

Reason number one is very much personal preference: I don’t like glass-backed phones. The brushed black aluminum skin on the first Razer Phone made it look tough and yet beautiful. I want to show off a phone design like that, rather than hide it under the extra bulk of a case.

The second reason concerns Razer’s design as a whole. The first Razer Phone fit into the sleek, aluminum family. The second generation departs from the original aesthetic. I understand design aesthetics can evolve. The Razer Phone just doesn’t look or feel as good in the hand compared to the old Phone.

Razer Phone 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

I do prefer the look and feel of the Razer Phone 1 with it’s solid piece of aluminum.

Where is the headphone jack?

And then there is the lack of the headphone jack. I know it’s a tired topic, but in a device like this that goes above and beyond to push amazing visuals, killer speaker quality, and a custom cooling solution, I’m baffled by the omission of a headphone jack. In my mind it’s a pro option in a pro phone, and it should be there.

Razer Phone 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Razer’s Hammerhead USB-C ANC headphones can’t make up for the loss of the headphone jack.

But what about Razer’s Hammerhead USB-C ANC in-ear headphones, which launched around the same time and include a high quality digital-to-analog converter (DAC)? While they feature great build quality and a nice (but minimal) amount of active noise canceling, they’re held back by sub-par audio quality. Even when using the included Comply foam tips to form a tight seal, the Hammerheads lack deep and rich bass. The mids were muddy and the highs felt flat, like I was listening to the headphones with tissue paper over the drivers. And this was even using the built in Dolby Atmos app, which was trying to push a bass enhancer. I can’t recommend them to anyone—unless you must have a glowing green logo on your heaphones. It doesn’t offer a viable alternative to Razer Phone 2 users and doesn’t excuse the lack of headphone jack. But at least they included a USB-C to 3.5mm audio jack in the box.

Conclusion

Despite the lack of headphone jack and a switch to the glass back I can still say that the Razer Phone 2 is the best ‘gaming phone’ out there. It couples hardcore specs with gamer-focused features and a super-clean version of Android—a combination that isn’t matched by competitors like Asus’s ROG Phone. If you must have the ultimate gaming experience in your pocket, the Razer Phone 2 is the best option. 

Razer Phone 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The Razer Phone 2 is the best gaming phone of 2018.

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